GRHA recognized for its role in Confluence at Missouri Wetlands Summit.
GRHA Executive Director, Mike Checkett attended the Missouri Wetlands Summit held February 1-3rd. The event was put on by a committee of wetland and waterfowl all-stars including Ken Babcock, George Seek, Mickey Heitmeyer, Dave Graber and many more. The presenters were equally storied and qualified. More than 350 wetland and waterfowl mangers, state and federal agency, NGO, University, staff, and administrators attended from 15 states representing the ACOE, USFWS, State Agencies, many NGOs like DU, Prairie Foundation, Audubon, TNC and 20 landowners. The Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation co-hosted the event.
The topics were important, timely, visionary, and included, as it should the Confluence. A session titled: Missouri/Mississippi River Confluence Partnership: A national Success Story covered important programs like MAWI, WRP, Conservation Easements, and the Missouri/Mississippi River Confluence Partnership. During that presentation, GRHA was recognized for our many contributions to the partnership and conservation of the Confluence.
The Missouri Wetlands Summit served to demonstrate that the passion, interest, and professionalism for advancing wetland conservation in Missouri is alive and well, and provided a great opportunity for GRHA to connect with current and past partners. Discussions have begun between partners to hold a Confluence Partners Summit IV (the last occurring in 2013, held at Grants Farm and led by GRHA and MDC).
Another highlight of the Conference was the recognition of world-renowned wetland ecologist at the University of Missouri, Dr Leigh Fredrickson with a lifetime achievement. Leigh now 81 and retired, trained more than 75 graduate students during his tenure, including GRHA’s own Mike Checkett.
Leigh (third from left) and a few of the conference attendees and former students of Leighs…. including Kelly Werner (USFWS retired), Dr. Mickey Heitmeyer (former DU Chief Biologist), Doug Helmers (USFWS retired), Jamie Rader (DU GLA Region Director), Frank Nelson (MDC Wetlands Systems Mgr.), John Vogel (MDC Private Lands Biologist) and Mike Checkett.